Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Measure of Revenge

I went back for the second tournament last night. I did much better, placing 7th in the end. I played well but then I was playing well before. I've been playing well, it's just not been helping a lot.

This time I was careful to try to play smaller pots, at least with people I knew I could not put on any sort of hand. I even took a large chunk of chips from my brilliant adversary from the early tournament. I had AK offsuit in the big blind and he raised under the gun (yes I ended up with him on my left AGAIN). It was just the two of us and I hit my ace on the flop. I made a modest bet and he called (who is surprised??? anyone???). The turn brought my king. I made the same modest bet. I figured he was going to call no matter what so just in case he sucked a straight or a flush out by the river I might as well keep it cheap. Maybe that is not the right thinkng. I'm not sure yet. Anyway a third flush card fell on the river and I checked. He bet, the same 500 chip bet I'd been making and he'd been calling. Then he asked if I was going to check raise him. It was tempting except that he could have had anything at that point and my two pair was nowhere near the nuts. In the end I won and he was left crippled. I was left happy.

He didn't last much longer. Alas I was not the one to take him out.

Oh and in a bit of injustice he went on to win the first tournament after busting me. I didn't see it but was told by a couple of people that he was incredibly lucky and playing real trash. (I knew that part).

Seems that a blind squirrel does indeed find a nut every now and again huh?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Why APL sucks

As you can maybe guess I just went out of an APL tournament early and it was because of a totally idiotic first on an opponent's part and then second maybe on my part. You be the judge.

It's early in the tournament. Blinds are 50/100. I have 3450 chips (starting chips are 3650). I pick up pocket Kings under the gun. I raise to 300. The absolutely brilliant player to my immediate left calls quickly. The big blind calls as well.

The flop comes down Jc 8s 4h. The pot has 950 chips in it. I lead out 1000 chips. I get an immediate call from the absolutely brilliant player to my left. The big blind is a wimp and folds.

The turn brings the 8c. I go all in for my remaining chips, 2150. I figure the absolutely brilliant player to my left either has J8, a straight draw or some other pair. I'm steaming already....

And then this absolutely brilliant player turns over A8 offsuit. He called a 300 chip preflop raise with ace rag. Then he called a huge pot sized bet on the flop with middle pair and no other draw.

See what I mean? You must be a fucking genius to make this kind of play. Either than or a clueless idiot and surely there are none of those at APL.

Wait...there is! I thought I could actualy push a worse hand out of the pot with correct poker strategy! What a dumb ass! Don't I know people are there to have fun? Nobody is there to actually learn to play good poker!

Wait...I I have to come to the conclusion that I am the dumb ass for playing there. What can you possibly learn from this hand? Of course what you learn is that if you make stupid plays then you sometimes get lucky and really piss a dumb ass off.

Will I go back? Well yes I will. I like most of the people there and well I'm a dumb ass and everybody knows that dumb asses keep doing dumb ass things over and over again.

Tune in next time for another entry in the saga of the worst poker on the planet....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Looking back on the past year

I've not posted a meaningful entry here in quite a while I see. A lot has changed since then. Looking back over the last several entries I see that what I'd heard of prolonged slumps can and do happen. That one lasted a long long time but it was a slump it would appear.

I'm just about to leave on a cruise around the Western Carribean. That is not all that noteable I suppose. We do that sort of thing with increasing regularity since Lee is older and now that we've got an empty nest we will probably do it even more. What is noteable is that poker paid for it. My playing paid for it.

Actually I suppose my good luck paid for it. I was playing the $1/$2 game in Tampa at the Hard Rock. We were in town for concerts at the Plant City Strawberry Festival. I'd just sat down at the table and three hands later in the big blind I'm dealt the KQ of spades. As usual in those games most of the table had limped by the time it got to me. I was still settling in so I just checked. (If I'd been more accustomed to the table I'd have definately raised). The flop came A and T of spades and a low red card. I had the nut flush draw a gut shot straight draw and a gut shot ROYAL flush draw. I saw no reason not to bet and had it been raised I probably would have three bet to build a pot. There were several callers but no raise. The turn was a red ten. I checked, hoping but not expecting a free card. Surely the inevitable ace would bet. It checked around. Go figure. The river card that I got to see for free was the J of spades completing my royal. I can't lose, why not bet? I got one caller and when I flipped over the royal the table went nuts. It seems that the Hard Rock has a progressive jackpot for spade royals. I'd hit it for $4,855!

So on the basis of that profit I'm about to go on a cruise. It's a 'cheap' one, the cheapest I could manage for a week on a ship I like. It used about 25% of that jackpot, the rest, what taxes and tips won't suck up will sit padding my bankroll.

Shortly after that hit I took a trip to Biloxi and Tunica for eleven days. I did not only very well but fantastically well. I was ahead around $1200 at poker for the trip although I did give some of it back at video poker (my one vice but one I can easily give up). Over the time I played I was ahead around 3 big bets per hour. My sessions were not long, few over 4 hours and many around 3. That could have something to do with it and if that is what it takes for me to win then I'll play shorter sessions.

Was I losing my concentration in longer sessions? I don't think so but maybe I am since the results seem to show that. If I was realy just doing hit and runs with lucky short sessions then I would not have won on 19 out of 22 sessions I do not think. that is pushing luck a little far. I WAS hitting cards, make no mistake. I was not getting sucked out on excessively. That was a big factor and I realize that is was also skill though in that I was able to get away from many hands that would have lost even more than they already had. I folded ONE winner that I should not have...a lesson learned that I will NOT repeat.

Nine days after returning from this cruise I once again head to Biloxi and Tunica. Two days in Biloxi and nine days in Tunica. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. I don't expect 3 big bets per hour. That was exceptional. I do expect to have a winning trip. We shall see.

This year, since January, I've played a lot of APL. It's just free poker but it's local and it's fun and I believe it's decent practice. I think it may have even helped my cash games even the limit ones.

I had a goal to just see how high I could get in the region. Before my last Tunica trip I was as high as 25th. Right now, playing less and having been out of town for half of March, I'm 44th. I can probably stay in the top 50 doing what I'm doing, playing around 7 tournaments a week. Many of the players above me are playing 14-16 a week. I'm not willing to do that although I was as high as 10-12 per week for a while. It was a bit much and I'm enjoying life pretty well at the pace I'm playing so that is the pace I'll continue.

I've been working on trying to not just make final tables but set myself up to WIN. I think I'm betting better. I did win another one and have another second or two. Everybody is so short stacked by the final 4 or 5 players that it seems more to require luck than skill. Maybe that is an excuse. I don't think so...but maybe.

It will be interesting to see where the roller coaster that is Poker takes me next. I'll be back eventually to let you know.